The Chinese free mobile messaging app WeChat has rolled out its latest 5.2 version for the domestic market and slowly releasing the Android update in the international market. Releasing a bunch of new features, the messaging app that claims to have 270 million monthly active users, has integrated with LinkedIn.
With WeChat’s 5.2 version when a user taps on the LinkedIn tab on someone’s profile page, they’ll be redirected to the LinkedIn mobile app, where they can then view complete resumes. I tried testing the feature but the Google Play Store is still reflecting 5.1 as the updated version of WeChat. However, TNW has shared a screen grab of the latest feature that is reflecting at their end:
In addition to this the messaging app has introduced features such as real-time location sharing with its Walkie Talkie voice feature, universal search including chat history search, notifications if you are mentioned in a group chat, as well as the ability to share sticker sets with friends.
According to TIA, Wixxin, the Chinese version of WeChat, has two additional updates – revamped “My Bank Cards” page that arranges commercial features like movie ticket purchase, taxi hailing, etc in an iOS 7-esque grid format and a new “voice-to-text” feature for Mandarin Chinese.
While the latest features look promising to attract users, the LinkedIn association could be seen as one step further in the direction of strengthening LinkedIn’s base in a country where it is yet to open up an official presence but already boasts of having more than 4 million members. Seeing this user growth, the world’s largest professional network recently appointed Derek Shen, the founder and former CEO of Chinese Groupon-like group-buying site Nuomi, as the president of LinkedIn China. At the same time Derek also became the VP at LinkedIn.
The move came with no surprise. LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman had earlier shared that the company is involved in the process of understanding the Chinese market and also acknowledged the importance of the Android ecosystem to China.
Will these new features help WeChat to compete with the global leader WhatsApp that has more than 430 million monthly active users? WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum recently shared in an interview at DLD14 that the leading messaging app plans to focus only on messaging. However, WeChat which is dominant in China, has evolved from a mere messaging app to a complete social network, personal blogging platform, and a marketing tool.
It would be interesting to observe if in the near future WeChat shows the same dominance internationally too.